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Vietnam, World War I, Opium Wars, Persian Wars, and the Cuban Missile Crisis - Essay Example

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War can be defined in a number of ways which can be based from the experience of states and other actors as shown by world history. It can be defined as a state or period of armed conflict, a condition of antagonism or conflict or that which can be related to military science…
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Vietnam, World War I, Opium Wars, Persian Wars, and the Cuban Missile Crisis
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"Vietnam, World War I, Opium Wars, Persian Wars, and the Cuban Missile Crisis"

Download file to see previous pages Throughout history, the importance of war became a major component of a state's foreign policy as demonstrated by myriad of instances showing armed conflict. In the field of international relation particularly on the concept of conflict versus cooperation, war represents a vital option in one extreme of the dimension. With certain peculiarities of different events involving war, resort to force by a state almost always forms part of the foreign policy a country. When diplomacy, negotiation and other peaceful means of settling dispute fails, war can serve as a remedy to determine the final outcome of conflicting sides in an issue.
The discussion in this paper will cover five incidents of interstates wars, namely, (1) the Vietnam War, (2) the Opium War, (3) World War I, (4) the Persian Wars, and (5) the Peloponnesian War. The causes mentioned herein may not be the only reasons for the outbreak of the war or the commencement of the conflict situation discussed but is compelling enough to be considered in the extensive study of the subject matter.
Analyzing the above mentioned wars, it can be seen that they share certain similar cause although in a different form or peculiar way. Although, the warring states or the participants involved were diverse, still, there were some that appears common among the wars to be discussed. What is therefore the implication of having different participants for every event of war This means varying interest involved for the reason that the acts of a state is presumed to be in accordance with its interest within the context of its national and international policy.

For a better understanding of the causes of the war in those five events and ultimately to support the response to the question of why states go to war, it is imperative to start with a general framework. This general framework will serve as the thesis to the proposition of state engaging in war in the cases herein discussed as well as to the proposition of the difficulty in withdrawing from the war once they resort to violence. From this framework, other supporting analysis will be discussed and expounded in the subsequent pages of this paper.

From the ancient war days involving the Peloponnesian war and the Persian wars, down to the economic nature of the Opium war, leading to the large scale conflict in World War I, and finally to the ideologically driven Vietnam War, one thesis stands out why they resorted still to violence to further advance whatever interest they may declare - the Desire for POWER. In the words of realist advocates in international politics, this is appropriately stated as interest defined in the concept of power.

Power is defined as the actual or potential influence or coercion a state (or other actors)an assert relative to other actors or non-state actors because of the political, geographic, economic and financial, technological, military, social, cultural or other capabilities it possesses.2 The definition of power involves a variety of interest and generally embodies every aspect of a state's policy from which its capabilities is premised. It is not therefore surprising that the behavior of a state is immensely affected by its desire to increase power or when the power it has is being threatened of reduction.

This framework does not confine its operation to states but can also be used in analyzing the behavior of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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